A first novel in the vein of Scott Turow introduces defense attorney Joseph Antonelli, who has never lost a case, until he is presented with Johnny Morel, accused of raping his stepdaughter, and Antonelli thinks it is just another routine case, but the verdict is murder. 100,000 first printing.
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There are occasional echoes of Scott Turow and John Grisham in this debut thriller by Oregon lawyer D. W. Buffa, but for the most part his voice is as refreshingly original as the sinuous plot line. "I never lost a case I should have won, and I won nearly all the cases I should have lost," says the arrogant but undoubtedly gifted criminal defense lawyer Joseph Antonelli. When his friend and mentor, Judge Leopold Rifkin, asks him to defend Johnny Morel, a man accused of raping his 12-year-old stepdaughter, Antonelli agrees. Morel is obviously guilty, but aided by the girl's lying, amoral mother, Antonelli plants enough seeds of doubt to get the sleazeball off. Years later, after the girl has disappeared, the mother is shot to death--in Judge Rifkin's living room. Under Buffa's sly direction, these twists and turns add up to a wonderfully rich story.From the Inside Flap:
Dynamite defense attorney Joseph Antonelli has never lost a case--or felt the sting of conscience for letting the guilty go free. "I can deceive anyone," he says, "and no one more quickly or more completely than myself." Now the man he most admires, the honorable Judge Rifkin, has asked him a favor: Defend a drug dealer accused of raping his twelve-year-old stepdaughter. Yet Antonelli's acceptance of the case sets in motion an explosive chain of corruption, betrayal, and murder that will leave no one unscathed. . . .
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